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krellis (2720)

krellis
  reversethis-{gro.sillerk} {ta} {mit}
http://www.krellis.org/
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Perl geek, FreeBSD sysadmin, DNS know-it-all

Journal of krellis (2720)

Tuesday February 05, 2002
11:16 PM

Damn Slashdot and Thoughts on Marketing

[ #2675 ]

It's at times like these that I remember why it is I never read Slashdot anymore. I can't believe how horribly the story about the Perl Foundation funding Larry is getting slammed by the ol' Slashdot trolls. And the worst thing is, I think some of the slamming is coming from people who really believe what they're saying, and aren't really trolling - they just don't understand.

I have to say (and no offense, guys), it feels kind of like TPF could have done a bit better job with the way they spun this. It seems typical of the open source community that we don't pay much attention to marketing, and spin, and hype. But this is the kind of thing that really needs it. The right spin can make all the difference. When thinking about dyndns.org's press release regarding our donation to the Perl Foundation, and thinking about what I had anticipated in the announcement of hiring Larry, I had really factored in the importance of "look guys, Larry is currently unemployed, let's pull together to help him." It was learning that during his Q&A that really inspired me to make the contribution that we made, after all. So few people realize that. Yes, I know we shouldn't slam ORA, and I do think it can be said without doing so - Damian did it very well in his comment on the use.perl story about the grant. Why wasn't something like that included in the press release?

I don't know - I'm not really a marketing expert, either. But I did know enough to have a good friend of mine who happens to have a Masters' in marketing (with a technical focus) and a BS in technical writing give us significant advice (and practically write) our press release about our donation to TPF. And I think it made all the difference to how we came across.

So, if any of you Perl Foundation guys are reading little of my journal, you might want to think about finding someone to give a word of advice on the spin and marketing. Just a thought. And congratulations on pulling this together.

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  • It's pretty civil going for /. since it lacks the usual infantile postings and a few even raised good points. I wouldn't take it too seriously. The foundation would do well to hire a professional fundraiser which would address your specific concern among others but they don't come cheaply and would go against the whole 'grass roots chic' thing.

    • Very true. It just seems like there's a higher-than-usual ratio of troll to non-troll postings on this particular story. Could just be the fact that it's the first time I've actually paid any real attention to the comments on /. in many months.

      I agree that a professional fundraiser isn't necessarily the way to go. I guess it just seems that if little ol' me has a friend who happens to be a marketer, someone else must also have such a friend they could mooch off of :) Heck, someone could have even asked

      • Well, considering that Larry's layoff was viewed by some at ORA as something nearing a 'state secret', one of whom chastised Jarkko for my subtle mention of it in one of my journals, it will not be helpful in getting people to donate to help Larry when most will still think he's employed by ORA. It's never a good idea when raising money to keep shifting the goals/recipients/etc as when people give money they like to see a campaign succeed and the warm fuzzies that go with that...now all the people who gave

  • I don't want to change what I said, but gnat's comment [perl.org] has helped to clarify some things for me. Thanks gnat - it's good to see that Dan's going to be working on some of the marketing stuff. I hope for everyone's sake that he gets results. At least he has good motivation for it :)

    Again, good work to all of those who have pulled together this stuff - I apologize if I've sounded critical, I'm just a little frustrated by the ways I feel things could have been done better :)